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Millennium Park Gets $5 Million Gift from Boeing

By Andrew Peerless in News on Mar 16, 2005 3:53PM

millennium park map from millenniumpark.orgMillennium Park fans have a new reason to cheer and, um, take pictures this morning: The Tribune is reporting a $5 million gift to the park from Boeing, which will be used to fund construction of the aptly named "Boeing Galleries."

Construction has actually already begun on the project, essentially a duo of 80-foot-wide granite-paved promenades that will be used to exhibit public art in the vein of last year's popular Boeing-sponsored "Family Album" exhibit. The paths will sit east of the Crown Fountain (giant spitting faces) and Wrigley Square (neoclassical colonnade and little pool), and will be shaded by elevated terraces holding flower planters and purty, purty Sycamore trees.

Crews are busting their collective humps to finish the project by June 10, when photographer Terry Evans' "Revealing Chicago: An Aerial Portrait" exhibit is set to open. In addition to hosting traveling exhibits during spring and summer months, the galleries will feature sculptural works and new sitting areas for park guests.

Other improvements expected at Millennium Park this season include a new gift shop and welcome center in the towers flanking the Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theatre for Music and Dance, "Bob's Hedge," a wood-and-topiary structure that will join the Lurie Garden, and fourteen new "Maggie benches," plate- and cast-aluminum seats named after Chicago's First Lady. Chicagoist wonders how Mrs. Daley feels about having people rest their rumps all over her namesake park improvements, but we suppose it's an honor of some (dubious) sort. Maybe they could have Chicagoist urinals some day...

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